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Hardball (The Philadelphia Patriots Book 2) by [Sykes, V.K.]
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Hardball (The Philadelphia Patriots Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 194 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Winner of the 2012 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Contest, Romance Category

"A story that is well told, characters that are engaging, a novel that is vastly entertaining, and one that is well-worth the time to read. I give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5." --Desert Island Keepers

"This book has kept my attention from the start and I couldn't put it down until I finished it. It was great and I really hope to read more of this writing couple in the near future."
--Natasja's Book Blog

From the Author

V.K. Sykes is really two people - Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance. The second book in their Philadelphia Patriots Series of sports romances won the Kindle Book Review Best Indie Books of 2012 Contest, in the romance category. V.K. also writes romantic suspense and small town romance, including the Seashell Bay Series set on a pretty island off the coast of Maine.

Vanessa also writes award-winning, Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra and was named by Booklist as one of the "new stars of historical romance." Her current series, The Renegade Royals, is a national bestseller. You can find them on the web at or


Product Details

  • File Size: 1457 KB
  • Print Length: 315 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: June 14, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005639YOY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,511 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Maria on November 16, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Hardball is a pleasant romance with a lot of heat! You can probably guess the amount of heat by the cover. It's too bad I read the ebook and didn't get to look at it in between chapters!

The story doesn't really have any surprises in it, but it's very well written and easy to read. Holly is a strong female protagonist and enjoyed her standing up to Nate for what she needed. The characters are very likeable, and oh so very human. Their strengths are shown as well as their flaws, so the reader can see them as real people.

If you prefer your romance without any spice, then give this book a skip. Everyone else, you'll really enjoy it!

*Disclaimer: I received this book from the authors for review, I was not required to write a positive review.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I confess, I don't usually read just straight romance books; I prefer paranormal romance or romantic suspense. This book sounded like such a fun read I couldn't turn it down. Plus, it actually does end up having some suspense elements to it that I wasn't expecting! Also, did you SEE that book cover?! The only word that comes to mind is H-O-T!

I was able to relate and connect with both of the main characters, Holly and Nate, but perhaps not as much as I would have liked. Nate was a really down-to-earth guy, despite the fact that he was a famous baseball player; not stuck up at all and not especially full of himself. Holly was a pedatric surgeon; I like that she was a successful, confident female lead. She was completely independent and obviously very smart. There were times she annoyed me with her insecurities when it came to Nate, but at the same time I could totally understand where she was coming from.

I enjoyed the characters and seeing their relationship develop. The story overall was interesting; in addition to finding herself smitten with Nate, Holly also has to deal with the beligerant and menacing parent of a sick child she is caring for. That definitely adds a few tense moments, especially when she suspects that he doesn't have his son's best interests in mind. Also, the sex scenes were very steamy, but they didn't take up the whole book like sometimes happens with romances. felt like sometimes the dialogue (mostly on Holly's part) seemed a little awkward, where I found myself saying "Do people actually talk like that?" I also had trouble with the fact that the first few times Holly meets Nate she's really insecure and somewhat shy, as she was wondering why he wanted to spend time with her. Then on their first "date", she turns into kind of a sex kitten.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a very hard-hitting, romantic story that brings two powerful people together and there is no doubt that their love affair lit up the skies. But there is also a whole agenda difference between these two individuals: one is a playful and highly competent professional baseball player who is just having fun and whats to keep it that way. That his attraction for Holly won't turn him loose is, of course, somewhat troublesome, but life is about fun and so are women. That Holly is now asking questions about the future really puts the cabash on his fun. Holly, on the other hand, is a woman who has left "play" behind in the struggle to achieve her goal as a first-class pediatric surgeon in a well-known teaching hospital. She has made it, but at what cost? Add in a mother whose own bitterness has shaped Holly's subconscious response to men in general and playful men in particular, and you have two people who view life from a very different perspective. I have a feeling that unless something changes, love will not be able to conquer the obstacles that separate these two. This is a fine novel, written seamlessly by a husband/wife writing team who have managed to speak with "one voice." Not easy to do under any circumstance but these two have pulled it off. This is a book that will grab the reader's interest right from the first paragraph and won't turn loose until the final line. THAT is the kind of novel I really like and the kind I prefer when all is said and done. This novel is contemporary, but its themes are as old as time. You really don't want to miss it!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I picked this book up when it was free because it sounded like it might be a fun, if typical, light romance. It wasn't.

Brief synopsis: Smart, competent, respected pediatric surgeon Holly Bell falls hard and fast for celebrity baseball pitcher, Nate Carter - a player, and not only of the baseball variety.

Here's what bothered me most about this book. I can't stand the insta-love. For no good reason that I could see, other than the fact that he's hot, the super-intelligent Holly decides after 3 weeks that she's madly in love with Nate and demands (yes, demands) a commitment from him. Because, even though she knew of his reputation with women when she started dating him, she decides their 3 weeks together are special enough to expect him to suddenly change and declare his undying devotion. But the thing is, there's really nothing special about Holly. She's all kinds of blah. So why would Nate change everything in his life for a whiny woman? Got me...but he does. Eventually. If she had demanded this commitment after 3 months, I wouldn't have had a problem at all. But 3 weeks? Sheesh.

Add a run-of-the-mill psycho stalker and that's pretty much the whole book. Not entertaining, not light, not even all that romantic. Honestly, I forced myself to finish it. And I did that with a lot of page skipping.

Adult language and sexual content.
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